|About Us | What's New | Search | Site Map | Contact Us|
You are not logged in. [Log In] Wordsmith.org » Forums » General Topics » Q&A about words » word "guinea" Register User Forum List Calendar Active Topics Search FAQ
#1628 - 04/27/00 09:12 AM word "guinea"
Could someone shed light on the derivation of the word "guinea" when used as a somewhat pejorative
or disparaging description of one of Italian descent similar to the use of the word "wop" for instance?
#1629 - 04/27/00 01:46 PM Re: word "guinea"
I don't know about the usage you describe. Is it used in any particular place?
You probably know that a guinea was a unit of UK currency - one pound and a shilling -it's still sometimes used for prizes for horse races (100 guineas, for example). I don't know if there would be any link there.
#1630 - 04/27/00 04:02 PM Re: word "guinea"
I don't know what the origin of the word "guinea" is, but I have heard it used as a slur towards Italians.
It is also used in another way, one that is perhaps related. A "guinea-tee" is a white tank-top undershirt, worn by men. I'm guessing that it is related to the pejorative use of "guinea". I've also heard this undershirt called a "wife-beater." Whether or not these are all related, I don't know.
#1631 - 04/28/00 07:54 AM Re: word "guinea"
Loc: Hobart, Tasmania, Australia
My Shorter Oxford indicates that the word was used (early 19th century) to describe a black person, especially one recently arrived from Guinea or West Africa. By the late 19th century, it was used derogatively (in the US) to describe an immigrant of Italian or Spanish origin. It doesn't suggest any link between the two terms.
#1632 - 04/28/00 09:06 AM Re: word "guinea"
Loc: this too shall pass
Someone must have really loathed the Itals; guinea originally applied to West African slaves and dago initially referred to Spanish sailors.
Forum Stats 8940 Members
Max Online: 3341 @ 12/09/11 02:15 PM
Newest Members poeticalPolitics, SAISPURTHY19, poster, hunsister, tjh
8940 Registered Users
Who's Online 0 registered (), 25 Guests and 4 Spiders online. Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Top Posters (30 Days)
endymion6 101 LukeJavan8 86 wofahulicodoc 74 May 57 AkivaLane 2 poster 1
wwh 13858 Faldage 13803 Jackie 11613 tsuwm 10538 LukeJavan8 8376 Buffalo Shrdlu 7210 wofahulicodoc 6723 AnnaStrophic 6511 Wordwind 6296 of troy 5400
Board Rules · Mark all read Contact Us · Wordsmith.org · Top
Home | Today's Word | Yesterday's Word | Subscribe | FAQ | Archives | Search | Feedback
Wordsmith Talk | Wordsmith Chat
© 1994-2016 Wordsmith